Friday, October 19, 2001

Dangerous Sensibilities: An American Strength Loses Clarity (Oct. 19, 2001)

It used to be that American support of the oppressed, the underdog, the victim, the poor and the desperate was our most gracious quality, an eminently civilized refinement to millennia of persecution and prejudice.

It was a pillar of American freedom and what set us apart from the rest of the world who, almost without exception, were either participants in injustice, prejudice and violence, or who aside from paying lip service to politically correct postures, looked away passively, self righteously and selfishly.

The wheel turns full circle only now the underdog is not quite so innocent. The Islamic Jihad propagandizes its suicide bombers with violent hate against Americans and Israelis, with fantasies of the 72 virgins that await them, packs them with explosives lined with nails for effect and sends them off to discothèques and restaurants. Hammas celebrates in the streets of the West Bank at the 6000 plus deaths of the WTC tragedy, handing out sweets and proclaiming the supremacy of Allah.

Arafat's government and departments educate children about the salvation gained by destroying Israel, on the racist and genocidal nature of the Jewish people and on the fallacies of the Holocaust and the absence of any right Israel and its 5 million odd citizens may have to coexist peacefully amongst more than 20 Arab neighbors and their 500 million citizens.

Prior to September 11, and presumably again in the future once the consciousness of personal victimization dissipates into long term memory, American citizens will again see the Palestinians as the underdog being colonized by the heartless might of the Israeli army. They have been attuned by CNN to the children with rocks, brave freedom fighters, standing alone against the might of Israeli tanks. Little coverage
was given to the mothers willingly sending their kids to the front - and rocks do kill and the bullets and rockets of street terrorists and Arafat's soldiers have made their mark. Little coverage too for the intent of these actions - the leaders of the movements, mosques and government of the West Bank have been chillingly clear about their desire to rid the Middle East of Israel and its stubborn Jews, by any means at their disposal. And if they have to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of impressionable children and adolescents (rather than their own) then so be it.

Yet Americans continue to ally themselves with this cause whilst the media including CNN, NPR and others selectively present information, interviews and pictures to support this bias.

Suicide bombers are sensitively referred to as Palestinian militants, never terrorists or murderers.

It would seem that the facts on the ground are irrelevant - mindsets are pre-cast, judgment pre-made. Israel has already effectively withdrawn from 95% of the West Bank, which is now in Arafat's hands. Israel offered at Camp David more than most Palestinians could hope for - yet Arafat would not contemplate peace, he could not abide living with Jews in the Arab Middle East. Forgiveness was not part of his lexicon.

Israel would withdraw every last soldier, from every last square inch of the West Bank, if the resolution of violence and peace could be guaranteed. Had Israel wanted of the Palestinians, what they want in turn of the Israelis, it would take Israel's unrivalled army just a few days to level the West Bank and remove its population to the bordering lands. But the Israelis chose not what is clearly within their power - they choose a tolerant and just attempt to compromise, to try to live in peace, to accept their neighbors.

Israelis do not rejoice when Arabs lose their lives, they do not have school text books vilifying the Palestinians - they hate war, they abhor violence - they merely want to live without fear and their army is the only thing standing between them and wholesale slaughter.

It is clear the American sense of fairness would support these plain clothed terrorists, for clarity of vision has vanished. How can the underdog be driving a tank, enjoying a good standard of living in western style suburbs of Tel Aviv. How can the poor of Ramle and Jenin not be the underdog. Can things really be upside down in Lewis Carroll's Wonderland?

In reality it is the Israeli who chooses peace and has suicide bombings thrust on him. It is the Palestinian whose nation is highjacked by extremists and fundamentalists and who chooses provocation and war rather than working peacefully in multitudinous jobs Israel has been so willing to create.

Israel can provide the Middle East with its window to modernity, to medical advancement, to the Hi Tech revolution, to democracy and freedom for women as well as children. Yet this is exactly what those in charge do not want, these religious and governmental autocrats and demigods; its exactly what they fear for this influence is everything they rail against, everything that will weaken the grip of the dark ages still so prevalent in that region.

Clarity is about seeing humanity be it in soldiers garb or in westernized democracy, it is about recognizing terrorism and evil even in the underdog or in the wretched. And it is the nature of this confrontation that this underdog will end up biting the hand that feeds it. And it has.

Sympathy in blindness and false understanding where there is no common ground merely serves those self same extremists and fundamentalists. Clarity in truth however strange, however unusual, is the only redemption, the only path to peace. To those willing to talk we extend our hand. To those coming with bombs and chemical and biological weapons, we must extend our force, preemptively, unambiguously, so that our children can sleep peacefully, with images in their dreams far removed from those of planes being driven into the towers of the World Trade Center.

Friday, October 5, 2001

A Solution (Oct. 5, 2001)

A Solution

An elegant yet unusual solution to terrorism.

Reprint from The International Jerusalem Post “Letters” of August 24, 2001 by Rich Chamberlain, Rochester, N.Y.

“How to Fight Suicide Bombers"

"Sir, - Following the recent terrorist outrage in Jerusalem, I heard talk of the difficulty of stopping suicide bombers. Actually, it is quite simple. In the years preceding World War I, General John J. Pershing was commander of the American forces in the Philippines. The small Moslem community on the island nation began to wreak havoc against the government and the American forces. The American troops captured a large group of these terrorists. During interrogation by the Military Court, the fanatics were heard repeatedly shouting Allah hu’akbar (“God is Great”), “jihad,” and “the Philippines are the lands of Islam"

Pershing ordered them executed.

Moslems believe that no one tainted by swine can enter Paradise, so the general had the firing squad coat their bullets in hog fat while the condemned watched. As each was executed, his corpse was wrapped in hog skin and covered in hog entrails before burial.

Three of the convicted were released to take the news back to their communities. That ended the Islamic jihad in the Philippines.

To stop suicide bombings in Israel, it is important to deny the bombers a “martyr’s funeral.” Israel should learn from Pershing, by desecrating each bomber’s body with pig products and refusing to hand it over for Islamic burial. Sure, there will be massive protests - but no more suicide bombings.”

In conclusion: A difficult solution for civilized people, yet still unquestionably the lesser of the two evils. In any event terrorists, by their inhumane action of targeting innocent civilians, have, by definition, given up any right to a civilized response.

The government furthermore may merely have to hint at or leak the likelihood of such a response without actually carrying it out (and bury anonymously the remains of the suicide bombers) for the desired effect to reach the psyches of would be terrorists and thereby neutralize their motives.


Some Suggestions and Predictions:

Things will seem to change even as they stay the same


All pilots must carry firearms and be trained in their appropriate use. All planes must carry armed and well trained plain–clothed marshals. All planes can be easily fitted with double separated bullet proof and bomb resistant doors and walls to the cockpit and with close circuit wide-angle cameras so that the pilots can not only assess the veracity of personnel wishing to enter but view the cabin as well.

Those entries should only be initiated to serve meals to and for bathroom visits by the pilots and adhere to strict protocols, i.e. only one door to be able to be opened at any time. Regulations (or laws) should prohibit the opening of the doors in any hi-jacking situation, irrespective, and the pilot’s primary response thereto needs to be the immediate landing of the plane.

All the above provisions will add perhaps a maximum of 2-3 % to the cost of our tickets, a very acceptable safety premium most rational travelers will willingly pay.
Americans will presumably initiate antiseptic strikes against the more visible targets. Most terrorist organizations will however hunker down and play the waiting game. They will wait for America’s resolve to weaken and for memories to dim. They will wait for Americans to get on with the good life.

Countries harbouring and abetting these criminals will pay hypocritical lip service to supporting the so-called coalition against terrorism. Iraq will not bother. However Syria, Libya, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon etc., may give up some terrorists who are small fry or are disliked by or in opposition to the ruling government.

They may also acknowledge defunct and abandoned terrorist camps. They will however

remain blind to or hide their preferred customers and bide their time knowing that these invisible enemies will waft slowly from the focus of the pursuers. The coalition supporters like France and other self-serving European countries including presumably Russia and China will be seen only initially, to be supportive. If sanctions need to be applied, they will abuse them, eventually supplying arms and trading to suit their economic self-interest.

After all “business is business”, especially if the alliance partners fill the gap the American sanctions creates.

After all, 300 million people with oil and money to burn can be a tantalizing marketplace. And then, as normalcy returns, the core of these organizations, Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, militant wings of the PLO, bin Laden’s extended organization and the dozens of related and intertwined elements will resurface to reclaim their “Rightful Path” to God; their Jihad for Islamic fundamentalism. And the safe haven countries will provide tacit and active support, believing that as long as these organizations remain obsessed with the great Satans, America and Israel, then their own authoritarian and undemocratic regimes will remain safe. And these coalition members will ignore this resurgence, just as long as America and Israel bear the brunt of the pain and the cost indeed this remains as always. But fundamentalism will know no bounds, and those as they say, that end up sleeping with dogs will get up with fleas.

Chamberlain with Hitler and his ilk in every government have tried and continue to advocate appeasement and understanding in the hope that terrorists will mend their ways, grow old and gray and develop their innocent sides. Unfortunately, once these people have passed the pale of humanity, once they have tasted the blood of innocent babies and once they have ingested as their God given right the fantasy of the 72 heavenly virgins, they will not likely stand down, save for their total and continuing eradication.

Thursday, September 20, 2001


Security at home. We must:

a. Provide security and overlapping backups to ensure terrorist hacking into the internet cannot corrupt or destroy the system save for resolvable and temporary problems.

b. Provide unassailable doors to cockpits in all planes, armed air marshals and substantially improved yet efficient ground security.

c. Coordinate and beef-up all intelligence agencies to an effective and synergistic level.

Try as we might in a global and free society we cannot ultimately control and check every passenger and visitor, every importation or border. There will never be adequate funds or personnel; our way of life could not sustain such controls. The only pragmatic solution is to take the battle to the source and remove that nourishment before the cancer spreads throughout the network of the free world. Cut out the heart and the tentacles will dissipate.

Long term tenacity, clarity and moral purpose must be our goals. We must insert operatives and have eyes on the ground everywhere there are training camps, offices and control groups of the various terrorist organizations including within the governments of those supporting them. We must provide motivation and monies to sustain and turn all possible contacts in these organizations.

We must provide support in every way to organizations in opposition to these terrorist groups as long as we can determine that their goal is the destruction of these groups and not, in the long term in any convoluted fashion, the endangerment of America and the free world. We must not be squeamish or delicate. Theirs is a total war - ours needs to be a total response.

The only reason, and it is ingenious in conception, why Iran, Syria and Arafat may want to be part of the coalition would be to ensure they are not a focus (as they necessarily should be) of the coalition’s fight against those safe havens for terrorists.

We must, for countries refusing to visibly and effectively support the eradication of all these terrorist organizations, strongly support with monies, logistics, publicity and even arms any and all opposition groups within and outside of those countries and to openly declare this as a consequence - either these countries are part of the solution or they must be made to understand they will be part of the problem. And clarity must include defining terrorist organizations as being all groups that sponsor or support anyone who commits intentional murder against innocent targeted civilians irrespective of their motivations or reasons.

The act must necessarily be seen to negate any cause, any logic. They must be excommunicated from the civilized world, from recourse to civilized law and forced to wander with no safe harbor.

Only then can the world have some respite from the threat of tactical nuclear bombs and chemical or biological weapons. The teaching of racial, cultural or religious hate must likewise be outlawed. Spawning a generation of future suicide bombers in the schools of the West Bank, or in Tehran or elsewhere, is as certain to wreak havoc on the freedoms of the West, as would a nuclear device.

Children should be treated as a “hands off” resource to all those who would pervert their impressionable souls with hate and lies. We do not countenance child labor or pedophilia - we should not tolerate the evil propagandizing of youthful minds. We have laws against hate crimes and none against hate education. We should campaign against, applying every legal restriction and public censure, those groups or organizations that promote anti-Semitism and hate against any racial or religious group. Specific to this focus must be any Islamic fundamentalist education that uses schools and mosques to promote hate against the west, the destruction of western societies by force and the fostering of specific violence against any individuals or groups these fundamentalists view as an anathema to their exclusionary and monopolistic desires to ensure the victory of their version of Islam through the violent destruction of everyone and everything that does not conform to their particular brand of fundamentalism.

Since Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition there has been no such intolerant, extreme, vicious and fascist regime of religious imperialists as these fundamentalists, except for the harsh fact that instead of swords and burning stakes these fanatics now have or will soon have biological, chemical and tactical nuclear weapons and they clearly have no qualms against using them.

More importantly, however, we and our allies must apply the same sanctions against not only those countries and groups outside of the USA that promote or support terrorist groups, but those self same countries or groups around the world that promote, support or allow any education or religious instruction that incorporates racist, anti-Semitic or religious hate where violence and indiscriminate murder is motivated for and seen as a necessary solution. Suicide bombing schools for children and adolescents for example is an abomination that must be outlawed with unrivaled international vigour.

Unless we do so, effectively and continuously, the future will belong to hate and anarchism and the culture of the “dark ages” will affect the balance of this century more than the combined hopes of technology, the internet and the unique and precious freedoms of the West. There has been a lot of talk about a backlash against Arab or Muslim Americans. Their civil rights, their safety, their ability to fly around the country unmolested must be zealously protected. That is the American way and the essence of American strength. However, Muslim clerics and Arab leaders in America, instead of exclusively concerning themselves with issues of discrimination, need to vociferously denounce these terrorists, their supporters and their philosophies and to follow up with matching action and behavior. They need to stop pandering to their desire to present and preserve a monolithic Islamic front against Western influence.

Only then will the rest of America and the Free World differentiate between Islamic people comfortable within the Free West’s ethos, and those seeking to destroy the West. They too, not only the broader intended victims, must stand up and be counted: only then can they justifiably claim to be deserving of all America’s tolerance, equality and freedom from discrimination.

We have a window of opportunity of perhaps a few years left, before the risks outweigh the solutions - let us not squander either time or opportunity.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Freedom Day (Sept. 13, 2001)

There should be immediate consideration of the suggestions below. Your motivation and support for and/or participation is crucial.

1. September 11, 2001 should be instituted as an annual memorial day, to honor all those Americans who lost their lives and freedom. This day - to be called “freedom day”, should commemorate the flight for freedom worldwide, for all peoples everywhere.

2. An immediate fund needs to be established for the victims of the September 11, 2001 Terrorism should be advertised as such with appropriate management: by worldwide participation.

3. This day should come down in history as the start of an unveiled war on terrorism worldwide, by those committed to freedom, democracy and tolerance. Since preventative action is the only logical and practiced solution a private organization should be set up with three divisions:

(a) To collect by/any reasonable means all information and intelligences possible concerning terrorists, including their organizations and operations and to furnish this information to those authorities capable of and motivated to prevent such terrorism. This division need not necessarily be restricted by government policy or limitation to ensure maximum effectiveness.

(b) To counter-propaganda and those supporting terrorist views, beliefs, agendas and politics and to provide silent and realistic assessments of these terrorist organizations to world media and relevant organizations.To combat the media war at all levels and to motivate for the isolation of those countries that provide and support a haven for these terrorists.

(c) To establish a preemptive strike force, not limited by governmental and institutional squeamishness, unstraints, appeasement, and cowardice, to combat by any means terrorist plans and to neutralize and remove where necessary and unambiguous those bombers and terrorists, leaders responsible for past and future acts of terrorism. Perpetrators of terror should feel safe nowhere, they should not have anywhere the protections of the law, decency, tolerance they so wish to destroy. A fund needs to be established to support this organization where donations can be received in countries and or bombs without restrictions as to their source or case.

4. The World Trade Towers should be immediately rebuilt but with the proviso that, whatever the expense, it should be terrorist proof. The structure, design and strength should be as immune as possible to collapse from potential attacks by bombs, planes or missiles. An investment fund should be set up for all investors counting to support such a monument, perhaps called the “World Freedom Towers”, a symbol of the rebirth, strength, and courage of a free American, symbol of a vital and democratic world order. Further a public monument should be erected on that site as well in memory of to all of those who died and as an affirmation of the principles of freedom.